Photo: Steven, a cashier at Superstore
At Metrotown Mall, Superstore has lower food prices, but Save On Foods has better customer service. In fact, the customer service at Save On is amazing.
I was at Metrotown on Saturday doing some shopping, and I bought some grapes on sale for $1.78 a pound at Save on Foods.
When I got home, and looked through my shopping bags, I didn't have that bag. So the next day, I phoned Customer Service at Save On and asked if they'd found my bag. I said I was going out that way again so if they'd found the grapes, I'd pick them up. They hadn't. "It doesn't matter," I told the clerk, "they were only $1.78" -- I remembered the total because it had been been the same as the price per pound. The clerk told me to drop by and he'd replace them.
And he did.
Contrast that with Superstore at Metrotown. A former Downtown Eastsider was telling me in early November about her encounter with the cashier from hell at Superstore. His name was Steven. I told her that if she got his photo, I would write him up.
When the customer was going through the check-out, Steven treated her like a shoplifter. He wanted to check her shopping bag. Fair enough: she was carrying a Superstore bag with her lunch in it. When she didn't object to him checking it, he lost interest. "He didn't open it, he just squeezed my pita sandwich. And he made a face, like yuck."
With all this fuss, Steven forgot to ask the customer if she wanted a plastic bag for her groceries. So after she paid, she asked him for one, but by this time he was on to the next customer. "He said no," she exclaimed. "He wouldn't give me one," she said, shaking her head in amazement. I agree with her that this is odd, as I've had busy cashiers at Superstore forget to ask me if I want a plastic bag, so they just hand me one instead of getting bogged down over five cents.
Steven did eventually toss this customer a bag, reluctantly. "I was tired of him blaming me so I said, 'It was your mistake, you know.' "
After packing her groceries, she realized she needed a second bag. "I wanted to double-bag [the groceries]; they were heavy." Steven told her she couldn't have another bag, and he turned back to his customer. So she spotted a plastic bag lying on the floor. "It was dirty; people were trampling over it." She picked it up and was putting her other bag into it, when Steven turned around. "Soooo, you took one anyway," he said accusingly. "He was livid." She told him she had picked it up off the floor.
Steven demanded that she pay him five cents for that bag and another five for the other bag. "I pay for bags there all the time but I'm not going to pay for a filthy bag off the floor."
Steven called the supervisor. The supervisor defended Steven. She said all bags had to be paid for. "Not a dirty one off the floor", the customer recalled saying. "Yes," said the supervisor, even a dirty bag must be paid for. But the supervisor let it go, this time.